Archive for January, 2012

Past Tents…An Adventure in Classic Camping

Last night I hatched a completely ridiculous plan. Fraser was telling me about how horribly out of date one of our Algonquin tripping books was with its references to travelling shoes and canvas tents. We giggled about its advice to bring moccasins for in-camp comfort and other old-fashioned notions. I admit that in the best of conditions, I wouldn’t mind bringing mine along, but…not super practical otherwise. And it’s been almost 20 years since I’ve hauled a wanigan on trip. It was nearly in the same breath that I expressed how much easier modern camping is, that I pronounced it might be educational if not downright kooky fun to plan and execute an authentic old-school camping trip.

It will mean collecting all sorts of impractical gear and researching retired camping methods. I’m pricing out canvas tents and wool bed rolls, tin plates and canteens. The pictures are going to be priceless! Fraser insists that this must be a fair weather trip and we are both worried about a cold and rainy night turning my experiment into a soupy disaster. I can’t wait! I’m talking vintage Pendleton shirts and red laced 15lb boots. I’m picturing sitting around with a coffee pot in the fire and a lantern to find our way at night. It’s going to be epic!

And so I’m sending out the call…does anyone have some treasures hidden in their basement or attic? Do the folks still have their old gear packed away in the garage just waiting to see the light of day again? If you can help me out, I’d love to borrow or adopt your fabulous vintage gear and give it new life. Spread the word… we’re going olde timey camping!


Stone Cold Crazy

As you know, our family booked a yurt up in Killarney with visions of skiing and snowshoeing dancing in our heads. I checked the weather almost hourly in the weeks leading up to our departure. When one website would show a disappointing forecast, I’d bounce to another one. Alas, they all read the same…warm and rainy. Boo.
Much to my delight on the 26th of December, it finally forecasted some snow. My hopes were reignited. Only a few days to go and the white stuff was a happy possibility.

Killarney December 31, 2011

Well things don’t always go as planned. As it turns out, Killarney got a small dusting of snow, turning the landscape picturesque. It was not however, enough snow to go snowshoeing or skiing, and the ice wasn’t even thick enough to support a snowball tossed onto its lacy surface let alone a midnight skate. It did make for a beautiful hike along the La Cloche trail with a stop for lunch perched on the edge of a beaver lodge. Lunch with some beavers? I’ll take it. The yurt was warm and the company was fabulous. All in all, it was the best New Year’s Eve ever.

lunching at the lodge

The second part of my story goes like this. Winter has finally come. A couple of weeks late for our last trip, but as luck would have it, just in time for hubby’s next one. After his weekly hockey game tonight Fraser was filling me in on his plans for a trip to Algonquin leaving first thing Monday morning. He was talking gear, as he often does, and which sleeping bag and clothes he would be toting along. I asked if he’d been checking the weather reports, as I’d stopped my hourly updates after we’d returned from Killarney. He took out his phone and clicked on the weather site, I craned over his shoulder for a peek and burst out laughing. The verdict? -22 at night Saturday and Sunday. I admit that it will be warmer on Monday, but I still couldn’t stop the giggles. THERE was the cold weather I’d been wishing for, but he won’t be in a cozy yurt. Nope, he and his pal will be roughing it open air. Do not consider me jealous. I come from hardy stock, but the thought of -22 is not appealing to me. I told him to take lots of pictures and I promise to share some with you upon his return. I’m sure he’ll have some stories to tell.

ice on George Lake, Killarney

With that, I hope everyone out there is warm and cozy. I know I will be grateful come early next week when the kidlets and I are playing board games by the fireplace, thinking of Fraser enjoying all that a winter in Ontario has to throw at him. And I hope that you all will be thankful for your own cozy beds when the mercury drops. Sleep tight!

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